Return to Concurrent Learning

Our Safe Return to School: In-Person Learning Updates

As we plan for the safe return of students to in-person learning, it is important that families are kept informed.  This communication will outline several new procedures and guidelines that will be in place at Walt Whitman Middle School to ensure everyone’s health and safety.


In this Edition

  1. Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form
  2. New Bell Schedule
  3. Start Dates
  4. Guidelines During the School Day
  5. Students Services Staff
  6. Visitors
  7. Bus Transportation
  8. Virtual Learning Pages for students and parents


1. Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form

As schools prepare for the return of students to in-person learning, parents/caregivers will be asked to acknowledge a Health Screening Commitment form before their student(s) return to school buildings. This document confirms that a parent/caregiver/guardian will complete a daily health screening and will keep their students’ home when they are ill.

The Health Commitment form can be submitted electronically through in ParentVUE, or via hard copy. The Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment form is also available in EnglishAmharicArabicChineseFarsiKoreanSpanishUrdu, and Vietnamese.  Completing this form now will be helpful as we plan for the return of students to in-person learning.  Thank you!


2. New Bell Schedule

As more students return for in-person learning, it will be necessary to revise the bell schedule to accommodate more bus runs. The number of students allowed on each bus will be reduced substantially to meet social distancing requirements. With fewer students able to ride a bus at the same time, FCPS must adjust the times that our buses are transporting students.  The school day will be reduced by 15 minutes due to the increased cleaning time required between bus runs.

A revised bell schedule has been developed to improve start times and end times for all levels. Barring any changes to the plan that may be impacted by the pandemic, the high school bell schedule (7:30 am – 2:00 pm) will be in place effective Tuesday, February 16, 2021 for both virtual and in-person instruction.  

Middle School Schedule


3. Start Dates

Schools will implement a staggered return to school for in-person students.  Listed below outlines the return dates for the specific grade levels.  

Group 8  - March 2, 2021  Grade 8

Group 8 - March 9, 2021  Grade 7



4. Guidelines During the School Day

To maintain a healthy environment for all students and staff, it is imperative that students strictly adhere to the guidelines listed below for the designated area. 



  • Always wear a mask.  The mask must cover the nose and mouth.
    • If you forget your mask or you need a new one, inform a staff immediately.
  • Wash their hands frequently.
  • Use hand sanitizers frequently.
  • Keep your mask on covering your nose and mouth
  • Maintain social distancing 
  • Follow traffic patterns in the hallways (walk on the right side)
  • Go directly to your class and do not stop/gather in the hallway to socialize


  • Students will follow signs to enter and exit the cafeteria.
  • Students will eat exclusively in the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch.
  • Students will not be able to walk around the cafeteria, once lunch has been started.
  • Chairs are to remain at their designated desk or table. They will be marked to keep students properly social distanced.
  • Students will follow the markings on the floor to maintain social distancing when getting their lunch from the cafeteria line
  • Students will remain in the cafeteria for the entire duration of the lunch period


  • Students will be required to keep their mask on, even in the bathroom
  • Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Go directly to and from bathroom with no other stops.

Main Office


  • Visitors will be permitted to office by appointment only.


  • If you have exhibiting any of the following symptoms:
    • Fever, new cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, loss of taste or smell, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Inform your teacher immediately. They will then call the main office.
  • Minor injuries will be addressed in class.



  • All bus riders will be released in an orderly fashion to the back of the building exit door 5.   
  • Parent pickups will be dismissed from the main entrance exit door 1.
  • Will not be available.
  • Students should plan to bring what they need in backpacks and take backpacks home at the end of the day.
  • Do dress warm because classroom windows will be open for circulation for the winter months.


 5. Students Services Staff

School counselors and mental health team members will only be available by appointment.  Students are asked to e-mail their school counselor, social worker, the school psychologist, or college and career center specialist to request an appointment. The contact information is available at the following link:  Walt Whitman Student Services 



6. Visitors

All visitors must have a scheduled appointment with a staff member to enter the building.  Upon arrival to Door #1, visitors must push the buzzer which will connect them to security.  All visitors will be asked to complete the Daily Health Screening Questionnaire (EnglishSpanish) before being granted access to the building. 

If any visitor answers “YES” to any question on the health questionnaire, they will not be permitted to enter the building.  Visitors who answer “NO” will be permitted to access the building and will be greeted by a masked employee, who will direct them to their meeting.  All visitors must wear a mask while inside the building.

As we continue to practice social distancing, we will limit the number of visitors to our building.  If you have an appointment with a staff member, only bring others with you who are relevant to the meeting.


7. Bus Transportation


  • Parents will receive information about bus schedules prior to start.
  • Social distancing requirements limit capacity on school buses. 
  • Students are reminded to wear a face covering when riding the school bus.
  • Students will be required to sit in seats as marked on the school bus.
  • Bus stop information will be available at the school and in ParentVUE.
  • Here Comes the Bus app is available and provides school bus arrival information.


8. 2020-21 Return to School

Our "2020-21 Return to School" page is where we will post updates, reminders, and other logistical information from Principal Herring and the Whitman admin team to parents during this school year.

Our "Virtual Learning" page, is devoted to providing ongoing resources to help student and their parents during virtual learning.

Please click on the link to access this google site  with  wonderful resources and information for students. Students will use the credentials to access this site.


This Google site is provides information and resources to assist students during the 2020-21SY